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Twain Middle School's bell ringers bound for London Olympics

August 1, 2012 |  5:39 pm

A student bell-ringing chorus from Mark Twain Middle School departed to London Wednesday for a series of concerts during Olympics festivities.

The 7th and 8th graders, under the guidance of music director Ron Theile, have five scheduled performances. And they also have a blog on which to record the experience.

“Although the academic year finished on June 19th, the Bellringers have not had their summer break yet,” begins the blog entry for Wednesday. “They have been meeting regularly during July in order to plan, rehearse and make all the necessary arrangements for the trip.”

Fundraising was spearheaded by Theile and Twain principal Rex Patton.

Bell ringing is an ancient art form, but this 17-member ensemble incorporates some modern twists.

“Trust me, they are not your grandmother’s bell ringers,” wrote school board member Steve Zimmer in a tribute to the venture. “In addition to their classical material, theyTwain bell ringers rang adaptations of Adele and Katy Perry.”

Zimmer noted that participating students from the Venice neighborhood school must maintain a grade-point average of at least 3.5.

“Mr. Theile and the Bell Ringers are local celebrities in Venice,” said Zimmer, “but starting on Wednesday they will be international stars.”

-- Howard Blume

Photo: A cake from a celebration just before the bell ringers' departure.  Credit: marktwainringers.blogspot.com